Saturday, 23 December 2017

Chapter 31 - Wrapping it up

Wednesday September 24

Cleo and Gary were eager to get the Frint-on-Sea cases closed. They were homesick for Charlie and PeggySue and for the life tgether that they had had hardly any time to enjoy.
“Our biggest conundrum is that we have two killers for the killing of Mrs Grant, Cleo.”
“Do you suppose that they both thought they had killed her?” said Cleo.
“Let’s do one of Dorothy’s brainstormings.”

Chapter 30 - The nittygritty of crime-solving

Tuesday cont.

Before the next interview could take place, Cleo and Gary needed to confer about what had already transpired and discuss future strategies.
“I’m all agog for what’s to come, Cleo,” said Gary. “I can’t believe you got Murphy to the point of a confession.”
“I was sure that he killed Mrs Grant,” she said, “and when a suspect asks for a lawyer, you know he’s on the edge.”

Chapter 29 - Candidates

Tuesday September 23

Breakfast at the hotel was mercifully minus the crowd of senior citizens who had either not stayed the night there,  got up at the crack of dawn to watch the tide coming in or were off on some other early morning adventure. Cleo and Gary set off in good time to walk from the hotel to the police station. They stopped to look at the incoming tide for a few minutes and were not surprised to see a line of senior citizens watching the water.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Chapter 28 - Mata Hari

Monday cont.


Sheila and Cleo thought the questioning was over when they left the brothel. The business had not closed down, but it was early afternoon, and the half dozen hookers who had not left for other haunts had been assembled in the plush reception area for what looked like a meeting.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Chapter 27 - Start the week!

Monday September 22

Cleo spent most of the night thinking about what they knew about the murder of Mrs Grant and was anxious to discuss with Gary what she thought could have happened. She tended to call this kind of brain-storming ‘doing a Dorothy’ because Dorothy came up with all sorts of theories seemingly out of the blue that usually contained at least some element of truth on which to base further inquiries, even if they did not provide a solution there and then.

Chapter 26 - Weekending

Sunday September 21

On Sunday morning Gary got up hungry. He had not done justice to the barbeque, he decided.  He sat on Cleo’s side of the bed, held her hand  and whispered
“We need to react to Wetherby’s news.”
“Not before breakfast,” she replied and turned over for another hour of slumber, taking his hand with her.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Chapter 25 - The BBQ

Saturday cont.

“I hope we’re in time for todays’s trial barbeque after all,” said Dorothy, as Gary drove out of Frint-on-Sea.
“We should be,“ said Gary. “Robert and I need a heart to heart and where better than on neutral ground?”
"I’m so looking forward to seeing my little girls again,” said Cleo.
"Me too," said Gary.
“You really have taken Charlie into your heart, haven’t you?, Cleo” said Dorothy.
“She’s right in there with her daddy,” said Cleo.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Chapter 24 - The fat guys

Saturday September 20

It took willpower for Cleo and Gary to call the night a day and exchange their warm duvet for a hot shower followed by a hotel breakfast  with all the trimmings. Then they raced to collect Dorothy for the trip to HQ.

Chapter 23 - The missed BBQ

Friday cont.

Grant had not been gone for more than a minute when Cleo and Dorothy came back into the office.
“That was great,” said Dorothy, shaking Gary’s hand vigorously. “A lesson in logic,” she added, “ and even better than a 1930s movie!”
Cleo embraced Gary and told him how impressed she was.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Chapter 22 - Grant

Friday September 19

At breakfast, eaten almost at the crack of dawn; Cleo told Gary that on reflection she was also glad to have him as a friend, not least because she had not lost as much sleep in those days of intermittent trysts.
“You took my detective agency seriously.  I’m thankful for that, too,” she said.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Chapter 21 - Macpherson

Thursday cont.

Gary and Cleo arrived at Frint-on-Sea police station late on Thursday afternoon. Brass was about to leave. O’Reilly was going to be at the station for a couple more hours. He said it was so that Brass could stop working round the clock.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Chapter 20 - Snow

Thursday cont.


While Cleo and Gary were driving to Frint-on-Sea, Dorothy was getting ready to sort out the case of Miss Snow’s dog. The email contained a phone number. She would call and make an appointment to see the anxious dog owner.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Chapter 19 - Garnets

Thursday September 18


Edith was overjoyed that she would have the two little girls to care for even if her husband Frederick, a vicar who disliked the human race unless he was called on to save their souls, As vicar he was sincere but incompetent; as a husband and father he was was a dead loss. 

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Chapter 18 - Comings and Goings

Wednesday, September 17

Wednesday, September 17

Gary had postponed his next trip to Frint-on-Sea until the end of the week due to various crises at Middlethumpton HQ. The matter of girls disappearing from the school in Huddlecourt Minor that had been started off with Susie Sweet’s misadventure at the beachhut in Frint-on-Sea had been passed on to Colin Peck, who was now looking for references to other girls who had absconded. From the school for wayward girls in Huddcourt Minor.
Had they all just gone away to seek adventure and love? There was something fishy going on. The school had been closed down, but not before crimes had led to the Hartley Agency and then the police force being involved.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Chapter 17 - Jane

Tuesday September 16


Gary did not get back to Upper Grumpsfield until the early hours of Tuesday morning, so discussions about what he been able to achieve in North Wales were left till after breakfast.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Chapter 16 - Hens

Monday cont.

At that moment, Cleo realized that it was true. Business had not been good all summer, but she had managed to cover her overheads. Now school had started again and parents were scrapping and considering their options. There was even a new mystery in the air.
***

Monday, 31 August 2015

Chapter 15 - Aftermath

Monday September 15

Being in love is like being drunk, Cleo decided, though she had never been drunk in her life; a social worker surrounded by alcoholics and drug addicts thinks twice about joining the fray.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Chapter 14 - Decisions

Sunday cont. into Monday

Before they could drive back to Upper Grumpsfield,  Jake would have to be questioned even if he refused to cooperate. Despite Gary’s fear that Jake would be rude to Cleo, she insisted on being there. She would also talk to Pat O’Reilly and try to help him work through his grief and shock since no one else seemed to have taken much notice. She did not want to wait until he asked for help. Sometimes people who grieve never stop grieving. It becomes a part of their life and often indispensable and self-sacrificial. But you have to let go of the past – somehow – and not let it become a crutch to lean on.

Chapter 13 - Pat O'Reilly

Sunday September 14


Gary cancelled his room at the Grand Hotel and registered himself as Cleo’s partner. It no longer mattered if Robert tried to find out where Cleo was and she had made it crystal clear to Gary that she was no longer considering upholding a failed marriage. Robert would have to admit that it was time to move on.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Chapter 12 - Ivy's joint

Saturday cont.

Gary parked his car round the corner from Ivy’s establishment and Cleo stepped out on her own to walk the to the house. She had no idea what kind of an encounter awaited her. Cleo had put her mobile phone where she could get at it fast. She could reach Gary quickly if need be and he had his own mobile propped on the steering wheel. She rang the doorbell and the door was opened immediately by the doorman they had encountered at the end of their previous visit. The guy must have been watching the entrance from the inside.

Chapter 11 - Angie

Saturday September 13

Sleep did not exactly evade the lovers, but they did avoid it until they were both exhausted, happy knowing that they were going to make their time together a permanent fixture very soon..

Friday, 24 July 2015

Chapter 10 - Business as usual?

Friday September 12

Charlie had spent the night at Cleo’s again because Gary had to work late and the girl exhausted after an afternoon with her daddy followed by the chore of putting a school uniform together.

Chapter 9 - Reunion

Thursday September 11

Gary was of course delighted to have his daughter back again. In no time at all Charlie had conquered the revolving office chair and was whizzing around on it, Gary was sad that the secret of her return had not been revealed immediately..
“Why didn’t you tell me last night or even before you went to collect her?” Gary wanted to know. “I would have dropped everything to be there.”

Chapter 8 - Charlie

Wednesday September 10


In a short phone-call to Colin Peck, a trained lawyer and one-time lucky member of a scheme offering internships with the Metropolitan Police in London, was combing through the data bank, but so far without any tangible results. Anything unusual would be passed on to Gary.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Chapter 7 - Confessional

Tuesday September 9

The two sleuths drove back to Upper Grumpsfield as planned, taking in Tinturn Abbey as a point of interest even though it meant a long detour followed by a soaking in the rain as they did some sightseeing before looking for somewhere nice to eat. Cleo remembered quite a good restaurant opposite the Abbey, so they ordered the menu of the day and sat on wooden seats near a window to watch the rain falling out of heavy clouds that shrouded the abbey spires.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Chapter 6 - The Autopsy

Monday September 8

The night spent as a ‘grown-up’ twosome in a single bunk bed was declared to be marginally more comfortable than the heath-rug from the previous night, but it had not been indusive to sleep, so Cleo and Gary were correspondingly rather tired as they walked briskly to the General Hospital where Susie Sweet’s earthly remains were to be examined.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Chapter 5 - Love is in the air

Sunday cont.

Cleo and Gary walked briskly to the beach. The air was bracing and stimulated Gary into saying something he had promised himself not to say as long as Cleo was upholding her marriage. He stood facing her with his hands in hers.

Chapter 4 - Ivy

Sunday September 7

At breakfast nexr morning, Lucy amused everyone with a riotous account of Daddy chasing the sheep on the bridge. Bill said the truck driver was not sure that they had rounded up all of them because they kept moving as he counted them.
It was getting cold in the car, so Bill had driven home, intending to return alone to look for yet more of the recalcitrant creatures, but in the end he went to bed and counted the sheep there instead. He was secretly relieved that his mercy mission was over.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Chapter 3 - Susie Sweet

Saturday September 6

Although Dorothy thought it highly unlikely that Sergeant Loo would want to spend his Saturday afternoon trying to think of leading questions to ask her and Vera, she left Upper Grumpsfield early with Cleo, their main mission being to rescue Vera. They were relieved to find Vera unscathed and in control. She was anxious to get her second interview over as soon as possible.
“Sergeant Loo is obnoxious,” she told Cleo and her sister.
“He was pretty awful at the beachhut,” said Dorothy.

Chapter 2 - Facing the music

Friday September 5

Dorothy decided to return to Upper Grumpsfield the following day as planned, despite Sergeant Loo’s expectation. Leaving her walking shoes at Vera’s, she made sure she was at the station in good time for the early train to Crewe; she had things to do at home and was even less enamoured of the idea that she should troop to the police station.

Chapter 1 - The rose tattoo

Thursday September 4

It was a blustery day. The rain had come down sideways for most of it and it was after six when Dorothy Price and her sister Vera went for their daily constitutional along the prom.
“We don’t have weather like this in Upper Grumpsfield,” Dorothy remarked.
”You don’t have the ocean on your doorstep, either,” said Vera.